Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Quite the Dichotomy
Does anything good ever happen in this country in sports anymore? If something good does happen, it is quickly overshadowed by some deplorable act it seems. Yesterday, the purity and tradition of the 57th Annual Beanpot hockey championship took a back seat to the latest MLB player coming clean about taking steroids. This article can practically write itself in describing just how opposite these two events were.
The Beanpot, while not that important outside of Boston, represents pretty much all that as good and right about sports. For those who don't know what it is, the Beanpot is a 4 team elimination hockey tournament featuring Harvard, Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern. It features college hockey players who are playing out of desire to win and are in the Herb Brooks mold in that "the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back". They are simply playing for the right to represent their school and the right to hopefully hoist that pot of beans over their heads when all is said and done. Yesterday, Boston University defeated Northeastern for its 29th Beanpot Championship. Unfortunately, you won't see that on the front pages of ESPN.com or SI.com.
In stark contrast to the Beanpot, we have the A-Rod story dominating the front pages of all major sports sites. I would categorize his steroid admission as "limited". He denied everything in the past, now one thing leaked and he is admitting it and nothing else. I commend him on admitting it, but honesty only usually goes as far as the next story with these guys. I wouldn't be surprised to hear another revision of A-Rod's story in the future. He has cleared himself for now though with this admission. It is just unfortunate that this story about wanting "to prove" he was worth $252 million and feeling the pressure of signing a huge contract have taken a front seat to the story of 4 college teams playing for pride and school.
I think that the punishment for players that have taken steroids should be that we ignore them altogether. Don't interview them, don't acknowledge their athletic feats, and certainly do not let them into the Hall of Fame. It doesn't seem like there is any punishment for taking steroids, unless the player lies about it. If you shoot up, then admit it 6 years later, nothing bad will happen to you. Heck, you will even be offered interviews on ESPN. We need to ignore these players. The only reason they are shooting up is to be in the spotlight and make more money. Let's take that away from them and focus on the better things in sports like the Beanpot.